comparison of the Met and Guggenheim Essay

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New York City has been called “the greatest city in the world” numerous times by its own people and visitors to the city. New York is civilization’s greatest world within a city. It gives the overpowering impression of being a magnet and mirror for all of humanity and all that humanity does. For a city so young, New York is home to number of architectural classics. Two of these masterpieces of architecture are the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Guggenheim Museum. Both continue the metaphor of New York being a world within a world and possess the latent fusion of form and function, one dependent on the other. The Metropolitan Museum is the epitome of neo-Classical style while the Guggenheim is a modernist powerhouse. Each museum serves…show more content…
Located on Fifth Avenue and 83rd street (just inside Central Park), it is a living encyclopedia of world art (picture 12). Every culture from every part of the world, from past to present is represented and is in fact the largest collection of art work in the entire Western Hemisphere. Let us now take a look at the impression each building gives the viewer.
The Met and the Guggenheim possess two of the most famous museum façade’s in the world. Upon first glance at the Guggenheim Museum, one is both impressed and intrigued by its design (pictures 1-4). It is an organic form that derives its source from Central Park located just opposite. The best impression of the structure is obtained from just across the street (picture 1). The attention to detail is evident everywhere – the circular pattern of the sidewalk outside the museum, the porthole-like windows on its south side (picture 4), and the smoothness of the hand plastered concrete. The main component on the west façade (facing Fifth Ave) is represented by an upward spiraling helix (pictures 1-3). Horizontal lines are stressed throughout the exterior, with the museum being longer than it is tall. There are very few corners, with smoothness and blending of form the focus. The museum gives an impression of stacked shapes with its long horizontal base, the viewing room capped by a steel structure on the north façade, the spiraling helix
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